Temple firefighters say a Monday evening fire at an apartment complex was caused by an unattended stove.

Temple Fire and Rescue’s First Engine Company responded to the fire in the 2400 Block of Valley Forge Avenue at 6:20 p.m. When they arrived, they spotted moderate smoke coming from a downstairs apartment of a four unit complex. After confirming that all the residents were evacuated, they began an interior attack to extinguish the fire.

Fearing the potential of the fire spreading to other apartments in the unit, the incident commander at the scene requested a second alarm assignment, with two more Engine companies and an additional Rescue Company responding.

The fire was declared to be under control at 6:39 p.m.

Fire investigators were able to determine that the fire was unintentionally caused by an unattended stove. An adult cooking in the apartment became distracted and failed to turn off the stove before leaving the apartment. The kitchen sustained heavy fire damage while the living room, bedrooms and bathroom received smoke and heat damage.

No injuries were reported and authorities say smoke alarms were present and working in the apartment. Two adults and two children who lived in the unit are being assisted by the Red Cross.

A press release issued by Temple Fire and Rescue recommends the following kitchen safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicines that make you drowsy.
  • Keep the stovetop clean and clear of items which can burn such as pot holders, towels and food packaging.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid free-zone” of 36 inches around the stove.